Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release at The Noguchi Museum, Performances through March 2020

Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release is a collaboration between the Museum and Fernandes who works at the intersection of dance and the visual arts. For this project, Fernandes worked with Noguchi Museum Senior Curator Dakin Hart and architecture and design collaborative Norman Kelley to transform the Museum’s collection installation Noguchi: Body-Space Devices into a performance space. There, dancers interact with Isamu Noguchi’s work as they explore bodies in space, movement, and the ways in which often grueling training techniques—including the Martha Graham technique known as ‘contract and release,’ for which this project is named—may be fetishized.

In each one-hour performance of Contract and Release, three dancers perform various tasks using sculptures as training devices: wooden assembly models of Noguchi’s interlocking sculptures, the artist’s large red Play Sculpture, and six rocking chairs designed by Fernandes and fabricated by furniture maker Jason Lewis. Inspired by the blade-like (non-rocking) rocking chair that Noguchi made for Graham’s iconic Appalachian Spring (1944), Fernandes’s training devices actually rock, creating an endurance test for dancers as they try to remain balanced while they contract and release their core muscles.” — The Noguchi Museum

Photographs by Corrado Serra.

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Contract and Release dancers are Tiffany Mangulabnan, Oisín Monaghan and Victor Lozano.

The hour-long performances take place at 1:30 and 3:00 pm on most Saturdays: October 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2019 / November 2, 9, 16, and 23, 2019 / December 7 and 14, 2019 / January 11, 18, and 25, 2020 / February 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2020 / closing performance Saturday, March 7, 2020.